There are moments of adulthood—like when you lie awake until three worrying about health insurance—that make you wish you had remained young enough to play in the sandbox forever. Then there are moments, like when you're holding an ice cream cone in one hand and a glass of porter in the other, when you remember that sandboxes are more likely to contain used Band-Aids than beer or ice cream. Full Tilt—an ice cream parlor with beer, pinball, video games, and live music—supplies the type of experiences that make you savor adulthood daily.
I first set foot in the White Center Full Tilt three years ago. The walls were throbbing neon green; pinball machines buzzed and dinged everywhere; I had a mind-blowing scoop of chocolate peanut butter and a 9LB Porter. A customer bought a giant bag of glow-in-the-dark cock rings from the sex shop across the street and distributed them to everyone. Iron Maiden was playing at a volume appropriate for metal but comfortable enough to talk over. The place felt like the Belltown I glimpsed through windows when I was underage.
Justin Cline and his wife, Ann Magyar, opened Full Tilt in 2008. Justin, inspired by the positive changes he had observed in Columbia City when La Medusa opened, decided to start a business in his own neighborhood. (Coincidentally, La Medusa is now for sale, after 15 successful years.) "[White Center] has a great little main street core that was 60 percent vacant," Justin said. "I knew that if I opened something, other people would do the same."